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Edgar, Mr Joseph

"The merger of the Sutton school with Upper Gundaroo led to the influence of Joseph Edgar extending itself to Sutton when in 1873 he resumed teaching at the old church-school which he had opened so many years before. ..............he found that payment of school fees, even when they were as low as 6d. per week, was an embarrassment to some parents, but he could afford to exercise a more benevolent attitude. "There are seven or more children in the neighbourhood of Sutton", he wrote tn 1874, "whose parents are aware I do not require the fees from them, still their children do not attend School, I believe for fear of being regarded as inferior to othiers".

The Wesleyan chapel continued to do duty throughout Edgar's time while his own fortunes as a teacher began to change with the emergence of a new breed of school inspectors seeing their post as one of tyranny calculated to convince teacher and pupils alike of the pwer of a distant head office. One such was the Yass district inspector, J.H. Murray, who made an unfavourable report on Edgar's instruction in both schools in 1876 and refused to acknowledge the validity of Edgar's submission of samples of work by his best Sutton pupil, Master Robert Charters. The rewards of teaching grew even fewer after two of Edgar's pupils died in 1877 and another seven were removed from Sutton by the departure of their parents from the neighbourhood, so the old man resigned on 3l October 1877, bringing his part in local education to its close and leaving Sutton without a school until the appointment of Miss Lizzie Whyte in 188l".

[from Errol Lea-Scarlett, 'Gundaroo' p.77]


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